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Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival Will Be In-person In New York And Online


The Festival’s online “Opening Ceremony” on Sun January 9 at 3pm EST will preview the Festival.

Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival Will Be In-person In New York And Online

The 14th annual Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival, the world's only theatre festival devoted to producing and presenting the theatrical work of contemporary Irish playwrights from around the world, will introduce a new hybrid of digital and in-person formats that amplifies the Festival's trans-Atlantic identity.

Produced by Origin Theatre Company, now in its 19th year, and under the first-year leadership of artistic director Michael Mellamphy, 1st Irish 2022 runs three weeks from January 9 to 31. Tickets go on sale on Mon December 20.

1st Irish 2022 will host 20 live and virtual events - a mix of theatrical productions (live and online), films, online panels and Zoom events, as well as a select number of in-person special events in New York -- bringing together companies and artists from Newry (Northern Ireland), Dublin, Cork, Wexford, Washington DC, The Bronx, Queens and Manhattan. The actor and writer Sarah Street returns as curator after co-curating, with Mellamphy, the all-virtual 2021 1st Irish this past January.

Among the plays being seen digitally are 6 acclaimed new productions. Opening the Festival on Jan 9, from Dublin's Fishamble ("Duck Duck Goose"); The Everyman in Cork ("City"); About Face in Dublin ("Transatlantic Tales 2"); The Wexford Art Centre ("One Voice Festival: Tales from the Quay"); The digital premiere of Irish Rep's NY Times Critics' Pick production of "A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing;" and, from Solas Nua in Washington DC, the digital premiere of "In the Middle of the Fields."

Plays seen in-person in New York include John Kearns' "Boann and the Well of Wisdom" (opens the Festival live at Ryan's Daughter Sun Jan 9 at 2pm); the world premiere of David Gilna's "A Bolt from D'Blue" (at the New York Irish Center); Clare O'Malley's solo musical "Transatlantic Living" (at the Irish Rep), and John McDonagh's crowd-pleaser "Off the Meter" (playing three times at 80 St. Marks).

Screening in the Festival is the critically acclaimed documentary "The 8th" (released in theatres in the UK and Ireland in May), about the historic 2018 repeal of the 8th amendment that outlawed abortion in Ireland. Also returning to the festival (for the 6th year) is the Jane McCarter-produced mega event "Scór on Broadway," a unique crossover of Irish culture and sports showcasing GAA Scór champions and luminaries. Also, the New York-based Irish actor Ciaran Byrne sets the stage for a deeply moving commemoration of Bloody Sunday (on the 50th anniversary itself - Sunday Jan 30) in a star-studded staged reading, directed by Byrne, of "Bloody Sunday: Scenes from The Saville Inquiry."

The comedian Des Bishop will kick off this year's Festival on Thur January 6 at (Poor Mouth Theatre's An Beal Bocht Café), when he starts a five-show run of his new solo show "Mia Mamma."

The Festival's online "Opening Ceremony" on Sun January 9 at 3pm EST will preview the Festival and introduce some of the artists, producers, theatres and participants from across the worldwide Irish diaspora. Co-hosted by Mellamphy and Street; and Ireland's New York Deputy Consul General Seán O'hAodha. The Festival's Closing Ceremony is planned to be in-person (details TBA).

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